Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Turnpike from Stockridge to Boston

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November has come and gone, again, and it’s starting that dark, dreary time again.  Tick, tick, tick.  Shut up, mortality.  Spring will come again, and many more after it.

The first of December.  “The first of December was covered in snow,” sang James Taylor.  I don’t care about the turnpike from Stockridge to Boston, but I am a little concerned about Highway 7 out to Lindsay tomorrow.  Once again, I am gambling on all-season radials.  I know, I know.  But I’ve driven in winter on them for years, and never had a problem.  It only takes one, I know.  But I still think it’s a conspiracy by the tire companies.  You’ll come see me in the hospital, right?

The first of December isn’t always covered in snow.  I check this every year, because of that song, being a huge James Taylor fan.  Often the first of December is rainy and shitty, but it’s not always covered in snow.  True dat.

The first of December is also World Aids Day.  Please wear a ribbon if you have one, or at least pause for a moment and devote some mental energy to this cause.  I’d really appreciate it.  Just a moment.

The first of December is Christmas panic time for many.  I refuse to participate.  I’ve done all the shopping I’m going to do, I’m going to hunker down in the warm and knit my heart out, thinking about the recipients of that knitting and sending out waves of goodness to them as I do so.

This Christmas is going to be a bit of a different dynamic for me, but I’m feeling really well for the first time in years, strong and healthy and full of cheer.

‘sall good! 

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X is for Xenophobe

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Nice to see the advent of the holiday season bringing out all the closet xenophobes.  The following is a quotation – NOT my feelings on the subject.  This has been posted around Facebook a lot lately, and it disturbs me and I need to address it. 

“So sad that Canada can’t celebrate Christmas at school anymore and now they want to stop playing the National Anthem for religious reasons. Soldiers die under that flag and for that anthem…they fight for our freedom. If they are so offended by the way the country was raised please feel free to go back where you came from . ENOUGH IS ENOUGH …..if you agree please re-post! Don’t come here to change our ways . ADAPT to them.”

Say WHAAA?  Like we as Europeans adapted to the ways of the indigenous people when we got here?  We gave them smallpox and alcoholism and tucked them away into corners where they could live lives of desperate poverty and we didn’t have to look at them.   We didn’t have to “adapt” to them.  We conquered them.

This country was “raised” (and I question the use of this word in this context) on multiculturalism.  Look out all you boomers who are scared of people with non-white skin and accents.  They’re the ones who are going to be propping up the Canada Pension Plan when we’re ready to retire.  We need each other.  New Canadians are just as Canadian as you are, unless you’re First Nations.  You have no greater right to your “culture” than they have to theirs.  No one is trying to co-opt your traditions or beliefs.  

This is not the US.  We’re not a melting pot that throws everything in together and expects WASP stew.  This is a mosiac.  Go to any major urban centre and look at the people around you.  You can either feel squirmy and uncomfortable, because now YOU’RE the minority group, or realize that in this country, we’re all part of the majority, and that the group is called “Canadians”.  What does an “average” Canadian look like, anyway?  Maybe not as much like you as you want to think.

This is a great, great country, maybe the greatest country in the world in terms of respect for human worth.  We all get to speak, and breathe and worship whatever way suits us best.

And if you don’t like THAT, feel free to go back to where you came from. 

Good Bits

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http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/11/22/stretch-marks-are-beautiful-like-exotic-foreign-ladies/

I found this interesting, because it’s soooo right.  Notice for all the talk about loving her stretch marks, there is not only not a picture of her OWN stretch marks, but there are no pictures of any stretch marks at all!

Yeah, so, hot 16 year olds don’t have them and I do.  Lots of them.  Serious ones.  I look like I need my belly ironed, actually.  I look like a road map of  New York State. So?  Whatcha gonna do about it?  Who’s looking anyway?

My stomach is my absolutely least favourite body part.  I have a giant (and I mean giant, no kidding) surgical scar.  It looks like I was shot, stabbed and then shot again in Reno, just cuz.  It protrudes because of a post-surgical hernia.  It’s tubby, and jellyish.  No matter how much weight I lose, some things are just not going to change.  So I should hate myself?  Hate my middle?  Hate that I had two kids?  Not have had surgery?  What?  Because if you have a  reasonable answer, I’d like to know.  And keep in mind, I’m very fond of my kids.

The answer, of course, is that of course I don’t hate myself, or my belly.  We are what we are, girls. At this age, no one likes:  their loose chin, their upper arms, belly, or upper thighs. We’re not so elastic, anymore.  Regardless of promises from beauty companies, nothing really restores that.  It’s just aging, and – believe it or not – it’s okay.  We’re told every day that it’s NOT okay, though!  We’re supposed to look like we did when we were in our twenties, and so we wind up with all these terrified aging women who have endless plastic surgeries which only succeed in making them look completely bizarre.

So here’s a list.  Make your own.  Here’s stuff about physical me that I really like.

I have great legs, baby.  Truly.

I have a full, luxuriant mane of hair.  Yeah, some of it’s grey.  So?  It’s thick and shiny and gorgeous.

I have beautiful, long-fingered, accomplished hands.

I have really cute little shell ears.  They don’t get seen that often because of my fantastic hair, but trust me, they’re adorable.

Also, to top it off, I’ve got a pretty nice rack, actually.

I’m just talking about physical, ornamental body stuff here.  My insides are all in good working order, for which I’m thankful, of course, and I’m active and healthy.  I’m just talking about the hand the Universe dealt me.  I got some great stuff in this hand.  I’m fantastically lucky.  So, am I going to slap the Universe in the face for the stuff that I don’t like?  That’s a little insulting.

So, to all of the Media who want me to hate myself – tough titties.

That’s all.

So, girls (and boys too) – make a little list of your good bits, and shake that stuff around a little.  It’s all good.  We’re all good. 

And (thanks, Naomi M for showing me this) – put this on while you dance around:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCvHgppVey4

Namaste.

The WHAT Channel?

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Most people who watch TV have at least one TLC program that they find abhorrent.  I fail to see what most of these shows have to do with the concept of “learning”.  Isn’t it “The Learning Channel”?  Maybe they need to rethink that branding.  I don’t know. 

But SOMEBODY is watching these shows, enough so that they stay on the air.  Somebody thinks it’s okay to dress little girls like hookers (Toddlers and Tiaras).  Somebody thinks it’s cool that the Duggars have, like, I don’t know, 86 kids or something.  Somebody likes watching people with uncontrollable hoarding problems.  It’s probably all because it just makes us feel like we’re less weird.  THEY are weirder than ME, making me comparatively more okay. 

My big oh-my-God-I couldn’t-even-watch-this-on-Percocets show is, surprisingly, none of the above.  And you’re talking to someone who watched “Hogan Knows Best” while heavily medicated after surgery, and was convinced by the end that maybe the Hulkster should call the shots.

The one show I can’t stand? 

Extreme Couponing.

These people really, really disturb me.  It’s rampant consumerism taken to Olympic levels.  They cheerfully admit that they don’t need most of the stuff.  They have entire rooms, garages, sheds, devoted to storing their stuff.  They clear shelves, and then think it’s funny that the poor bastard behind them can’t get a stick of fucking deodorant. HE doesn’t think it’s too damn funny, neither does the cashier.

I like a good deal as much as the next person, goodness knows.  I don’t want to pay more than I have to, and if I can get a discount on something I need, why, that’s lovely. 

The key word here is, of course “need”.  We’re so conditioned here in the West, to think that we “need” things.  We need food, we need warm clothing, we need shelter.  We don’t “need” walk-in closets.   We CAN live without an ensuite bathroom.  And a stockpile of 746 sticks of deodorant?  Call me out on this if you want, but I think it’s superfluous. 

And don’t even get me started on the “Black Friday” sales in the US.  People will break your damn leg for $50 off a TV.  They probably already have seven TVs. 

Really?  Get all these people into some kind of rehab.  I think they’re unwell, or at least temporarily off-kilter. 

Interesting Monsters

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLdKU4JCYqg

Don’t get me wrong here.  I love my kids.  As they’ve gotten older and become more like real people who can be reasoned with, I love them more and more.

But oh, those of you who know my little family well, you know that we have certainly had our challenges, big and small.

My kids are both:  intelligent, socially conscious, challenging, compassionate and inquisitive.

Oh yeah – and – REALLY FREAKIN’ TALL.

“Lynne – your kids are tall?  Really?  What kind of genetic fluke could cause THAT?”

So, today I have a day planned with Mister Moose, my ‘little fella’.  We’re going to have some brunch, and then we’re going out to Primitive Designs to have a poke around and maybe do a little holiday shopping. Afterwards, though, we are going on a hunt for the elusive size 15 triple E shoe.  You can’t get those bad boys on sale at Walmart, believe me.

Fat or thin, I’ve always had trouble getting clothes to fit.  I’m all legs.  It annoys me that if you’re a size 22 and five foot two, why then you’re classified as a “petite” and can get a wide range of attractive trousers.  On me, though, honey, they’re capris.  Men’s pants don’t fit me right.  I’m a curvy girl, with junk in mah trunk.  Tall Girl has pants, but they’re usually upward of $75 a pair, and we don’t have a local store.  Pennington’s does manufacture “tall” pants, but apparently there’s no demand for them locally, so the local store doesn’t carry them.  I haven’t sat down at the sewing machine for years, although that’s probably the best answer.  My tiny mum taught me to sew when I was ten or twelve, and I used to make a lot of my own clothes.

Shoes, I can usually get away with.  If it’s an open-toe, I can wear a ten, and most places carry a ten.  Closed-toe, I need an eleven, and it’s often, although not always, available.  I like PayLess, because they organize everything by size.  I don’t have to ask some miniature sales clerk if something comes in my size.

I’d love to buy clothes off the rack in a regular store like a regular person.  Never.  Gonna.  Happen.  See that girl in the back row of the class pictures, with all the boys?  Just once, she wanted to sit demurely in the front row, ankles crossed, hands in her lap.  Never happened. 

But it’s certainly made me an Interesting Monster!

Christmas Knitting Update

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This post just may not interest everyone, I’m sorry, but here’s the Christmas knitting update:

finish one Minion monster;  knit one more Minion;
sew in ends on crazy striped socks;
finish ends on purple mittens;
one big hairy monster;
one more cotton spa cloth;
one pair green and purple striped socks in alpaca (you probably don’t even have to ask!);
one pair red socks.

This list is totally do-able, even though I’m sneaking in a scarf for myself.  I can completely justify this, as I haven’t got anything that goes with my new winter coat.  Entrelac in Noro Silk Garden #341, for the knitting geeks among us.  I’m almost through the first ball, and it looks sooooo nice…

So, it’s not so bad!  And you know, if it really ~was~ a terrible burden, the knitting, I wouldn’t be doing it.  I secretly kinda like knitting…shh…

The Myth of the "Happy Ending"

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We are all conditioned to believe in a “happy ending”.

Hollywood movies.  Fairy tales (with some notably gruesome exceptions).  Religion.

It’s supposed to End Well.  Heroes are rewarded, villains are vanquished, the meek inherit the earth and
Someday My Prince Will Come.

But IT DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT.  Karma is slow coming around, sometimes not in this lifetime, so we need to believe in the next.  We need to believe, to have hope, or there’s really no point to it all.  So we have invented the myth of the Happy Ending. 

What we need to do instead, I think, is believe in the Happy Now.  We need to realize that every boring, pedestrian moment is a miracle, that just being conscious and present and full of awe and wonder is a huge bloody miracle in itself.

I need to pause briefly, apparently Grace needs some lovin’.  I can’t type when she’s holding down my hand and licking me.

See, this blog started out with a bitter thought that’s been running through my head all day, “where’s my damn happy ending?”   It’s Now.  And Now.  And NOW.